Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Poetry Mix Tape: Summer Poems

I had some trouble thinking of a theme for this week's Poetry Mix Tape. I toyed around with a few ideas, but couldn't settle on a good one. I really thought last week's Mix Tape was a home run, thanks in no small part to a number of great comments from readers. A tough act to follow you might say.

But then I got to thinking about the end of summer. I go back to work on Monday, so my summer has just about come to a close. So although it took some research on my part, these are all poems I read for the first time this week, I have chosen SUMMER for this week's Poetry Mix Tape theme.

Here are five poems about summer for you to (hopefully) enjoy:

"Summer Song" by William Carlos Williams
"Morningside Heights, July" by William Matthews
"Jet" by Tony Hoagland
"To the Light of September" by W.S. Merwin
"Summer" by Carlo Betocchi

Now, I have to say I applied the theme fairly loosely here. Not all of these are strictly about summer. Some are set during summer or simply just mention "summer." They are, however, all very good poems. Check out the opening of Hoagland's "Jet:"

Sometimes I wish I were still out
on the back porch, drinking jet fuel   
with the boys, getting louder and louder   
as the empty cans drop out of our paws   
like booster rockets falling back to Earth

and we soar up into the summer stars.   
Summer. The big sky river rushes overhead,   
bearing asteroids and mist, blind fish   
and old space suits with skeletons inside. 
It gets better, too, so make sure you read the rest at The Poetry Foundation.

Maybe you know some good ones that fit this theme a little better. Please contribute to our Poetry Mix Tape by leaving your poems in the Comments. I am sure there are more great summer poems out there than these. Share them with the world!


  1. The only summer poems I can think of are:

    The Summer Day by Mary Oliver
    The Rainy Summer by Alice Meynell
    In Winter, In Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson

    I will take a look at yours :-)

  2. Tabatha, thank you for contributing to this week's Mix Tape. All are new to me, and I especially like "The Summer Day:"

    This poem would be a great one for teachers of many different grades to teach. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.